In life, especially in the life of a student, there is a time for play and a time for work. It seems that the weeks just prior to and following this article are dedicated (at least for a majority of the time) to work. In simple terms, it's midterm time. That means a few things: lots of caffeine, late nights in the library and antisocial behavior. Fortunately for UW students, we have this wonderful publication to distract us from the stresses of midterms for a snippet of time. More importantly, for all you fashion-savvy individuals out there (yeah, you know who you are) you have this column in particular to put a little joy back into your studious, work-driven lives. So for this article, I'm going back to the basics, back to those amazing little wonders that put that little kid "ice cream man just came onto my block" smile on your face: accessories.

Accessories are the framework of successful style. Adding them to your wardrobe automatically makes you a more stylish individual. Like clothing trends, accessories are constantly changing — coming in and going out of style. This past Academy Awards, for example, solid cuff bracelets were all the rage, while the year before presented an array of chandelier earrings. And when the vintage style made a comeback on the catwalk, it was nearly impossible to see a street-style New York City girl who wasn't heavily layered with accessories. It is only now that streets are starting to be lined with less and less girls covered in the head-to-toe "threw on everything in my closet" look.

Not to say that the head-to-toe "threw on everything in my closet" look was bad. In fact, the style put the fashion world back on the map, and definitely opened up a number of highly experimental doors. Fashion is now at an artsy high, and doesn't look like it's going to be coming down anytime soon. Similarly, it doesn't look like small is going to become the new big either. So, make sure to keep those oversized Jackie-O sunglasses around, as well as that boho bag that's twice your size — at this point they have a pretty substantial trend life expectancy. Just make sure to also keep in mind that the truly stylish have always been about breaking the trend barriers. If no one ever broke the stereotypical look, trends wouldn't be constantly new and evolving. Plus, it's always so much more fabulous to be the one starting the trends, rather than following them.

While we're on the topic of fabulous personal style, let me touch upon the Carrie Bradshaw conspiracy. OK, so the woman had more style than New York and Paris combined, but what really made her so stylish (other than the show's stylist Patricia Field) was her ability to overdo everything while still being so damn gorgeous! It got to the point where she could have made a paper bag look stunning. However, in order to reach that point, she really had one thing to thank for her success: accessories. After all, where would Carrie Bradshaw be without her Manolos? Shoes, earrings, bags, sunglasses, bracelets, etc. really are the vertebrae that make up fashion's spine. Without them, fashion simply could not and would not exist at all.

Fortunately for us, the big, beautiful, stylish world we live in has accessories! We'll never have to worry about having bare outfits or a shortage of Manolo Blahnik stilettos. Nor will we ever lack the media-infused environment where style stars like Carrie Bradshaw and the real-life Sarah Jessica Parker co-exist. That is of course assuming that you aren't going to pick up and move to a remote desert island somewhere — dare to dream. Moreover, the media's influence on fashion is and has always been extremely prominent.

For now, just indulge in the fact that accessories aren't going anywhere. And since they add so much personality to a wardrobe, why not be a little more adventurous with your outfit embellishment selection? Keeping in mind that the No. 1 cardinal rule in accessorizing is to always remove one item for your outfit before departing. In fact, the best advice I can give you is this: Experiment now, and when you feel comfortable enough in your own style, find something simple to trademark and stick to it. After all, Jackie-O wasn't famous for her killer bracelets.

Sydney Burdick is a freshman intending to major in fashion journalism. Direct any questions or comments to burdick2@wisc.edu.